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Socialist Strongman László Kovács: Hungary's Largest Left-Wing Party Could Drop Out Of Parliament

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.11.19.
The post-communist Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), which was in power prior to the political landslide in 2010 and governed the country over a total of three cabinet terms since the transition to democracy in 1990, is in danger of failing to meet the 5 per cent election threshold in 2018, senior party figure László Kovács has told the pro-government daily Magyar Idők.
The 76-year-old veteran left-winger, a former European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, served as foreign minister twice, between 1994 and 1998 and then from 2002 to 2004. He also served as chairman of his party between 1998 and 2008. Speaking to today’s edition of the paper, he said that it is now becoming “questionable” that MSZP will reach the election threshold as polls show that support for the party has dropped below ten per cent. The party previously had the support of 35 to 40 per cent of the voting electorate but has since lost a total of five elections in a row, which, according to Mr. Kovács, is partly a result of the marginalisation of “experts of a more senior age” within the party, initiated by former chairman Attila Mesterházy in 2012.
At European Parliament elections in 2014, the party, which has suffered from its former Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány, breaking away in 2011 to form the rival left-liberal Democratic Coalition (DK), secured only 10.9 per cent of the vote. At parliamentary elections in the same year, the Socialist-led, four-party alliance gained 25.99 per cent of the vote, suffering a humiliating defeat from the incumbent Fidesz-KDNP government of Viktor Orbán.
Incumbent party chairman József Tóbiás refused to comment on his predecessor’s statements.
via magyaridok.hu
photo: budaorsiinfo.hu

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